Santa Claus is real because I say he’s real. Santa Claus is real because on Friday, December 23rd he was driving from Happy Valley to downtown Vancouver, WA to buy the only toy coffee maker in the greater Portland area. He had looked at Fred Meyer. He had searched Target. He had been to Toys ‘R Us, The Learning Palace, Walgreens. He had even shopped at the gates of Hell (Walmart at 1:00 in the morning). Santa finally wised up and called the greatest little toy store he knows, Kazoodles. They didn’t have a toy toaster, but the coffee maker was right there on the shelf. So Santa got in his 2001 Subaru Legacy sleighdan and headed north for the 25 minute drive. When he showed up at Kazoodles Santa found an empty building where Kazoodles used to be. “Is this Christmas?!?!?!?!!” Santa yelled. Santa then used his iPhone 4s to find out where Kazoodles is now located. It was 10 miles away on the east end of Vancouver. So, Santa got back in his car and started driving to the other side of Portland’s wonderful sister city to the north. He drove the length from I-5 to I-205 and then headed north yet again (because if there’s one thing Santa’s good at, it’s north) and he exited at Mill Plain. What Santa didn’t know was that Mill Plain is a very busy road at midday on the Friday before Christmas…turns out Santa doesn’t know EVERYTHING. After waiting through a number of green light/red light sequences Santa got to the front and realized that he could have used the left lane and been through in one signal. Seeing this, Santa went ahead and blew through the yellowish/orange/okay-RED light and headed down Mill Plain trying to follow the pseudo-GPS built into his iPhone. He was doing this because a thief smashed out his car window and stole Santa’s 2 GPS units a couple weeks ago while Santa was playing poker in NW Portland. In any case, Santa drove to the spot on the GPS and found a bunch of businesses but NO KAZOODLES! Santa jerked his sleigh into the empty parking lot of a church and stopped to let it leak oil all over the place while he again called Kazoodles. “Yes, Kazoodles? This is Santa. Where are you? I’m at the church. I’ve gone too far? Oh good, will you be on the left or right? The left? Great. I’ll see you in a Christmas jiffy!” Then Santa found he couldn’t turn left on Mill Plain so he did the only thing he could…he turned right. Soon Santa realized he was in Washington so he could make a U-turn. So Santa found a left hand turn signal…which, shockingly, had a “No U-turn” sign. So Santa took a left, then a left into a parking lot, then made a back and forth maneuver that would have made Austin Powers blush, bayyybeeeee, then came bac k out of the parking lot to make a right followed by another right and Santa was on his way. On his way to the strip mall where he eventually located Kazoodles. He entered the store, bent over and grabbed the ankles of his furry red suit and, as only a defeated magical giant elf can do, handed over his credit card to charge $22.95 for a couple pieces of moulded plastic that will inevitably lead his 5 year old daughter into a life of paying $4 each for cup upon cup of addictive hot liquids. Santa then hopped back into his dented green sleigh and got back on Mill Plain. Where in the name of St. Nick did all these cars come from? Santa used the left lane only to realize that the right lane was a ½ mile long line for the freeway that Santa needed to get home. Santa was stuck. He couldn’t squeeze into this line at this point, and quite frankly it was longer than Santa was willing to wait anyway. Santa said the F-word. Santa didn’t know Vancouver well enough to find an alternate route, but he was sure gonna try.
That’s when it happened. Santa’s sleigh found itself as the first car in the left lane at the red light before the freeway entrance. All Santa had to do was beat the thuggish looking gentleman to his right off the line and he would be free as a Christmas dove flying home on the interstate! The light turned green, Santa reved up all 4 cylinders of his sleighdan and found himself falling behind the car to his right. But like the peaceful bliss of a new fallen snow there beside him was a Christmas miracle. The second car in line was busy illegally talking on his cell phone which made him too stupid to realize that the light had turned green. Santa slid in behind Mr. Thug and found himself on that charmed and magical Christmas pathway, I-205.
So for those of you who don’t believe in magic…those of you who don’t believe in Santa Claus. Santa IS real. I saw his reflection in the eyes of a 5 year old girl on Christmas and he was shaped very much like a toy coffee maker.